Garden loppers for hard-to-reach pruning action

Extend your cutting range with a long-handled tool.

Best garden loppers

by Amy-Mae Turner |
Published on

The best garden loppers are a handy garden tool that allows you to cut and prune branches in hard-to-reach areas. Typically used to trim trees and taller bushes, they can also increase your reach on ground-level growth that isn't easily accessible with ordinary garden shears.

Garden loppers have longer handles than garden shears, and some have a telescopic design to give you even more reach. The blades of loppers come in two different figurations; anvil or bypass. Anvil-style loppers are capable of blunt cuts on larger branches, while bypass-style versions give you more precision and control of the cut you're making.

Best garden loppers at a glance:

Best overall garden loppers: Spear & Jackson Razorsharp Telescopic Ratchet Anvil Lopper - View on Amazon UK
Best bypass garden loppers: AIRAJ Bypass Loppers - View on Amazon UK
Best anvil garden loppers: TABOR TOOLS GG12E Professional Anvil Lopper - View on Amazon UK

When you're considering which loppers to opt for, you need to think about whether anvil or bypass would best suit your needs, how long you want the handles to reach, whether or not you need telescopic action, and how lightweight you need them to be. Take a look through our superb selection so you can find your next terrific garden tool.

Best garden loppers for your next pruning task

Best overall garden loppers

Spear Jackson telescopic loppersSpear&Jackson/Amazon

These award-winning loppers have three notable features; anvil action, ratchet capability, and telescopic handles. The anvil blades are made of C50 carbon steel that has been hardened and tempered for long-lasting durability and given a PTFE coating for rust resistance. The non-slip handles are made of aluminium to keep them as lightweight as possible. They are capable of extending from 46cm to 72. The ratchet action means you can cut branches of up to 45mm wide.

Customer review: "I regularly trim communal hedging outside my home but have been using secateurs so I treated myself to this lopper. I wish I'd bought it ages ago as it made the job so much easier AND blister-free! I managed to cut through even the thickest branches which was amazing. If you need to cut hedges, get this!"

Pros

  • Telescopic handles
  • Ratchet action

Cons

  • No fingergrips on handle

Best bypass garden loppers

Airaj loppersAiraj/Amazon

These AIRAJ loppers fall into the small but capable category and come with a very budget-friendly price tag. These offer you bypass blade action with high carbon construction, given a non-stick Teflon coating. Overall, these loppers measure in at a compact 38.5cm, making them ideal for precision pruning work on bushes, hedges, and shrubs - which bypass blades are ideal for. The non-slip handles have a soft rubber covers for a more safe and secure grip.

Customer review: "Fantastic for my needs. Cut through bramble and thick tree weed in no time at all. What would have been a half day job with a small set of plant cutters. Was literally a 30 minute job. Highly recommend."

Pros

  • Only weighs 540 grams
  • Teflon coated blades

Cons

  • No safety lock

Best anvil garden loppers

Tabor Tools lopperTabor Tools/Amazon

Rrp: $67.99

Price: $56.84

These large loppers are ideal for anyone who has a tough tree to tackle, thanks to their 76cm length and effective anvil-cutting action. The hardened carbon steel blades and anvil ability means these can handle branches of up to 50mm in diameter. TABOR TOOLS says this makes these loppers an excellent tool for trimming back live wood before making a final, clean cut with bypass loppers. The handles of these loppers are comfortable to use thanks to the ergonomically shaped, textured finger grip grooves.

Customer review: "Ideal for pruning those thicker twigs that ordinary pruning shears won't touch. The quality is convincing. I expect them to last many years."

Pros

  • Ergonomic fingergrips
  • Cutting capability of up to 50mm

Cons

  • Weighs 1.56 kilograms

Best heavy-duty garden loppers

Spear&Jackson loppers Spear&Jackson/Amazon
Price: $69.99

A serious solution from Spear & Jackson, these loppers offer an anvil-cutting style backed up by robust ratchet action. PTFE coating gives the hardened carbon steel blade both rust-resistance and anti-stick properties. You can operate these loppers with the tubular, aluminium handles set at anything between 40cm to 80. Making them a good choice for family households, these offer a locking catch for safer storage.

Customer review: "I recently purchased these, and overall, I'm quite pleased with its performance. The telescopic feature is a standout, allowing me to reach high branches with ease. The build quality is robust, and the ratcheting mechanism adds extra power for cutting through thicker branches. The razor-sharp blade ensures a clean cut, promoting healthier growth for the plants."

Pros

  • Safety lock
  • Ratchet capability

Cons

  • Nearly two kilograms

Best dual-use garden loppers

Davaon loppersDavaon/Amazon

These loppers have an interesting USP - they are a two-in-one solution that can switch from ratchet mode to single-cut mode. This means, in Davaon's words, they can "conquer thin and thick branches alike." When you engage the ratchet mechanism, you can cut through branches that are up to 60mm in diameter, while the single-cut mode quickly slices through up to 30mm. These have heat-treated and hardened SK5 carbon steel blades and measure 68cm long.

Customer review: "Bought these to use on the overhanging tree from our neighbour's garden. We all worked together on both sides using them - they were really excellent. Cut like a knife through butter (the branches weren't thick, just long). My partner then used them to cut through a very thick vine stump - worked superbly."

Pros

  • Can cut branches up to 60mm
  • Two cutting styles

Cons

  • Handles aren't telescopic

Best garden loppers for power

Fiskars loppers Fiskars/Amazon
Alternative retailers
Lowe's$28.98View offer
Tractor Supply$29.99View offer

If you're looking for loppers with a particularly powerful "jaw" these Fiskars loppers boast the company's "PowerGear" technology that gives you three times more power than a comparable product. They are also lightweight, weighing in at less than half a kilogram. These two factors have seen these loppers awarded the "Ease-of-Use Commendation" from the Arthritis Foundation. They measure just under 40cm and can cut through branches around 30mm thick.

Customer review: "For a lightweight tool it is extremely powerful and easy to use. The blades are sharp and really make short work of trimming the bushes."

Pros

  • PowerGear technology
  • Ease-of-Use Commendation

Cons

  • Can't cut branches over 30mm

Best pull-handle garden loppers

Gardena loppers Gardena/Amazon
Price: $259.79

Gardena's StarCut 160 Plus offering is a little different from the other loppers we're featuring as it has a single-handle, pole-style design that you operate via a T-shaped pull handle to close the blade. This measures 160cm long which means, depending on how tall you are, it could give you up to 3.5 metres of reach. The head of this lopper is adjustable to 200 degrees, so you can get the precise angle you need to cut off unwanted growth.

Customer review: "I love this Gardena pruner. It's the perfect length to reach the top of hedges and lightweight enough to easily use above with your arms extended above your head. I'm a 71 year old female and had no trouble using it."

Pros

  • Adjustable head
  • Pull handle operation

Cons

  • Can be unwieldy

How we chose the best garden loppers

All of these garden loppers have been hand-selected by our team of Modern Gardens shopping experts. We carefully considered the type of blades, handles, and usability in our selection of the best. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching garden loppers to make it easier for you to find the very best, and we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in.

Where possible, we also test and share the latest and best products you should know about. And with help from Modern Gardens Magazine, Garden News and Garden Answers, we share expert gardening knowledge to help you get the most from your product.

Bypass versus anvil - what's the difference?

While the terms sound technical, it's pretty simple to differentiate between bypass and anvil loppers. As with handheld secateurs, it's all about how the blades are configured.

Anvil loppers have one sharp blade that closes directly onto its 'anvil', or cutting block. These are the most powerful type, capable of getting through thicker branches, but can make quite clumsy cuts.

Bypass loppers have two sharp blades that 'bypass' each other in the same way that ordinary scissors, or garden shears, do. This makes for cleaner cuts but these are only suitable for use on smaller branches.

What is ratchet action?

A garden lopper that features 'ratchet' action can increase a tool's cutting power dramatically. As you use the handles, the tool's ratchet mechanism opens and closes the tool's blades, boosting its cutting power each time it does so.

Five handy tips for using garden loppers

Get gloved up - While most of the loppers we're featuring have comfort grip handles, if you're using them for extended periods or exerting a lot of pressure, blisters are inevitable. Avoid the curse of callouses with a pair of garden gloves.

Wear safety glasses - If you're using loppers, chances are you're cutting above your head. When those offcuts drop to the ground, ensure they don't poke you in the eye by donning some garden goggles.

Don't overstretch - Try not to use your loppers with your arms extended unless you absolutely have to. Doing so will tire your arms quickly and may result in weaker cuts.

Rinse and repeat - While we obviously recommended cleaning your lopper's blades thoroughly after use to remove sap, it's advised to disinfect, or at least rinse them, when moving from plant to plant to avoid spreading pests and disease.

Stay loose - Keep your blades rust-free, lubricated, and ready for action when you put them away by spraying with WD40, or wiping them down with an oil, such as linseed or camellia.

What are the different types of pruning?

Debi Holland from Garden News gives us the low-down on the terminology of the different kinds of pruning activity that takes place throughout the gardening year.

Winter pruning - Stimulates vigorous new growth; carried out when trees and shrubs are dormant.

Summer pruning - Limits growth but encourages flower and fruit development; carried out when trees and shrubs are actively growing.

Hard pruning - A significant cutback, often to ground level, promoting vigorous growth and bright new stems.

Pollarding - Cutting a tree's top branches back to short stubs, restricting size and promoting new growth.

Stooling - Hard pruning shrubs to promote colourful new stems.

Coppicing - Cutting multiple branches to ground level to stimulate fresh new stems.

Deadheading - Removing dead flowers to stimulate new blooms.

Thinning out - Removing congested stems to reveal a lighter framework, allowing greater light and air circulation.

Best garden scissors for pruning precision

Best DIY tools for your garden projects

Hedge trimmers to keep your hedges prim and proper

Subscribe to Modern Gardens magazine and get the most out of your outdoor space. Discover everything you need to know to make your outside space look fantastic, quickly and easily, with hundreds of simple ideas, designer tricks, affordable products and expert advice in every issue of Modern Gardens. View our latest subscription offers to save on shop prices.

Amy-Mae Turner is a Commerce Content Writer for Modern Gardens, Yours, Take A Break Pets, and A Modern Kitchen. When she's not pottering in the garden or mucking around in the kitchen, she can be found having doggy cuddles with her two beloved cockapoochis.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us